*Filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal are firing back against a Republican congressman who is demanding an investigation into whether the Obama administration leaked classified information to them for use in their upcoming film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
“The Hurt Locker” director and writer say that their new movie will present “an American triumph, both heroic and non-partisan,” adding “there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In a letter to the defense department inspector general and the CIA inspector general, U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who is the chairman of the committee on homeland security, said he was worried that classified information had been leaked to Bigelow, Boal and Sony Pictures, which is distributing the film in 2012. King wrote that “this alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history.”
Bigelow and Boal have now responded to King, issuing the following joint statement:
“Our upcoming film project about the decade long pursuit of bin Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation. This was an American triumph, both heroic and non-partisan, and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise.”
Bigelow and Boal were prepping a SEALs movie involving the hunt for bin Laden when the terrorist was killed in late April by U.S. forces in a dramatic raid in Pakistan. The filmmakers quickly incorporated the event into the script and Sony picked up the project in May for release on October 12, 2012.
But Rep. King, apparently responding to a Sunday column by NY Times writer Maureen Dowd that touted the government access Bigelow and Boal were being given, outlines several questions he wants answered:
“Will a copy of this film be submitted to the military and CIA for pre-publication review, to determine if special operations tactics, techniques and procedures, or Agency intelligence sources and methods, would be revealed by its release? How was the attendance of filmmakers at a meeting with special operators and Agency officers at CIA Headquarters balanced against those officers’ duties to maintain their covers? How will cover concerns be addressed going forward? What steps did the Administration take to ensure that no special operations tactics, techniques, and procedures were compromised during those meetings?”
Washington and the military have long cooperated with Hollywood, regardless of which party holds power in the White House. The Pentagon even has an official liaison office in Los Angeles.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, at the daily briefing on Wednesday, called the claims “ridiculous” and “simply false” and said the White House had provided information to the filmmakers only on the president’s role in the raid. Watch his full comments below.